Recent kwiples

Sunday 25th of October 2020 Available without prescription™ © 2015
2020 Presidential election Now do you see why I feel like I've just been tied up by a German dominatrix who doesn't understand my safe word. Bill Maher, Real Time with Bill Maher, Oct. 9, 2020, after reviewing how the Republicans in states with a Republican-controlled legislature and a Republican governor can and are planning to use their power to select the state's members of the Electoral College to appoint electors committed to voting for Trump even if Biden won the state's popular vote © 2020
Cocks of the walk say  Jimmy Carter used to get off Air Force One carrying his luggage. I don't want a president carrying his luggage. Donald Trump © 2020
Conspiracy theories  It saves so much thinking to think like this, to survey the world and to know that all its disorders are due to the malignity of a single group of mysterious plotters. John Gwyer, Portraits of Mean Men: A Short History of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion © 2020
COVID-19 coronavirus But maybe the truth is that life will never fully return to normal until a vaccine becomes available — and perhaps not even then. A vaccine is not a ‘magig bullet’. It is unlikely to be completely effective, and is unlikely to be taken up by every citizen. Perhaps COVID-19 represents an impermeable boundary between one moment in out lives and another. We can never go back. Richard Horton, The COVID-19 Catastrophe  © 2020
COVID-19 coronavirus  I haven't actually been to the White House since August the sixth because my impression was their approach to how to handle this thing was different from mine and what I insisted we do in the Senate, which is to wear a mask and practice social distancing. Mitch McConnell, October 8, 2020 © 2020
Democracy But saving democracy? The way to do that is to fix the economic and social policies that have been stripping liberal societies of legitimacy in the eyes of their citizens. Philip Stephens, Financial Times, October 8, 2020 © 2020
Democracy Mutual toleration means that political opponents must accept the  legitimacy and legality of their opponents.  If elected leaders can send their opponents to prison and otherwise discredit them, then leaders are afraid to relinguish power lest they be imprisoned themselves. The criminalization of politics is a kind of toxin that breaks down the cooperation required to sustain a democracy. Jonathan Chaitt, New York, September 14-27, 2020 © 2020
Economic growth Its [International Monetary Fund's] researchers find that, provided it is well-directed, public investment is particularly powerful in uncertain times. The most striking effect is on boosting private businesses' willingness to invest: raising public investment by 1 per cent of gross domestic product raises private investment by more than 10 per cent. Martin Sandbu, Financial Times, October 11, 2020 © 2020
Immigration The question is why Norwegians would want to come to America today, except as aid workers. Simon Kuper, Financial Times, October 1, 2020 © 2020
Income inequality Researchers in 2017 recorded 2,676 workers performing 3.8m tasks on AMT [Amazon Mechanical Turk], and found the median hourly wage was $2 an hour. Only 4 per cent earned more than $7.25 an hour. The competition is global: workers in the US earn $3.01 per hour, while those in India earn $1.41. Prolific, a UK-based crowd-work platform for surveys and market research, imposes an hourly pay floor by calculating the average time it takes workers to complete each task. But while the UK's legal minimum wage for over-25s is £8.72 an hour, Prolific's is £5 an hour. Sarah O'Connor, Financial Times, 2020/09/16, on crowd-work platforms, which let companies cut virtual jobs into tiny tasks for homeworkers © 2020
Kwiplers say Calculate the minimum wage as follows: MW = CMHI / CMHS × WPY × HPW where: MW = Minimum Wage CMHI = Current Median Household Income, e.g., $65,000 CMHS = Current Median Household Size, e.g., 2.1 people WPY = Workdays Per Year, e.g., 240 HPW = Hours Per Workday, e.g., 8 [MW would be $16.12 using data above] © 2019
Kwiplers say Count votes in Congress by: 1. Calculating a Member's Proportional Vote (MPV) for each member, as follows: MPV = SPNP / NLRS where: SPNP = State's Percentage of the National Population NLRS = Number of Legislators Representing the State (in that legislature) 2. Totaling “yes” MPVs and “no” MPVs 3. Passing if total MPV is more than 50 OTHERWISE Abolish the Senate © 2019
Law and order … knocking over a 7-Eleven makes you a “criminal” but looting a pension fund does not. Trump's unusual level of personal crookedness dovetails with a familiar reactionary agenda of combining per- missive enforcement of white-collar crime with a crackdown on street crime – or, as Trump calls it, simply “crime.” The implicit meaning of “Law and Order” is that order is distinct from lawfulness and that some crimes create disorder while others do not. Jonathan Chaitt, New York, September 14-27, 2020 © 2020
Politics Experience shows that the cardinal point to which the rich man directs his efforts, consciously or unconsciously, is preserving his economic “security,” and that unconditional, ruthless political idealism is found, if not exclusively then mostly, among the classes who own nothing and who are thus entirely outside the group with an interest in preserving the existing economic system in a given society. That is especially true in exceptional — that is revolutionary — periods. Max Weber, “The Politician's Work” in Charisma and Disenchantment, translated by Damion Searls © 2020
Post-2018 Senate shituation 15 states (Alaska, Arkansas, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Wyoming) 2018 population: 40,056,961 Senators: 30 Republicans 1 Senator per 1,335,232 people 1 state (California) 2018 population: 39,776,830 Senators: 2 Democrats 1 Senator per 19,888,415 people 19,888,415 / 1,335,232 = 16, therefore: average 15er's vote is worth 16 times a Californian's, a Californian's vote is worth 6% of an average 15er's 1 state (Wyoming) 2018 population = 573,720, therefore: 1 Senator per 286,860 Wyomians, a Wyomian's vote is worth 69 times a Californian's, a Californian's vote is worth 1.4% of a Wyomian's © 2016
Power In today's unequal digital society, power accrues to those who already have too much of it,  fuelling popular discontent with the elites and giving rise to conspiracy theories about the omnipotence of Silicon Valley. Evgeny Morozov, Financial Times, September 1, 2020 © 2020
Public discourse The words of a president matter. Even a lousy president. Joe Biden © 2020
Selfie I can barely find a guy to go on a date with me, much less marry me. I’ll have to pay someone to get down on one knee one day. Kayleigh McEnany © 2020
Snapshot In the end, the most salient fact about Donald Trump may simply be that he is a crook. Jonathan Chaitt, New York, September 14-27, 2020 © 2020
Snapshot I believe President Trump's decision to cut funding to WHO in the middle of a global pandemic constituted a crime against humanity. Donald Trump portrayed by Richard Horton in The COVID-19 Catastrophe  © 2020
Snapshot Donald's pathologies are so complex and his behaviors so often inexplicable that coming up with an accurate and comprehensive diagnosis would require a full battery of psychological and neuropsychological tests that he'll never sit for. At this point, we can't evaluate his day-to-day functioning because he is, in the West Wing, essentally institutionalized. Donald Trump portrayed by Mary Trump in Too Much and Never Enough  [2020] © 2020
Snapshot Look at these people. It's literally a little bit sad. Donald Trump fans pursuing his limo portrayed by Donald Trump  © 2020
State of the union Just as a herd of elephants leaves behind traces of its passage, so will the Trump team. Madeleine Albright, Financial Times, October 11, 2020 © 2020
State of the union The Russsians did not create the things that divide us – we did. Alex Younger, retiring head of MI6, the UK's Secret Intelligence Service © 2020
Surveillance It is obvious that, in all these instances, the persons to be inspected are under the eyes of persons who should inspect them, the more perfectly will the purpose of the establishment have been attained. Jeremy Bentham, Panopticon; or The Inspection House © 2020
Tax audits What county in the United States has the highest rate of tax audits? The answer is Humphreys County in rural Mississippi, where three-quarters of the population is Black and more than one third lives below the poverty line, according to ProPublica and Tax Notes. Tax collectors go after Humphreys County, where the median annual household income is $28,500, because the government targets audits on poor families using the earned- income tax credit, an antipvoerty program, rather than on real estate tycoons who pay their daughters (that's you, Ivanka!) questionable consulting fees. Nicholas Kristof, New York Times, Oct. 10, 2020 © 2020
Trumpism One of the most corrosive effects of Trumpism upon the political culture has been to detach the law from any behavioral definition and to attach it to political identity. As Trump likes to say, “The other side is where there are crimes.” He has trained his supporters to under- stand this statement as a syllogism: If Trump's opponents are doing something, its a crime; if Trump and his allies are doing it, it isn't. Jonathan Chaitt, New York, September 14-27, 2020 © 2020